How to Replace the Heater Core in a Saturn Vue

by Editorial TeamUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Replacement heater core

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Clean container

  • R-134a service tool

How to Replace the Heater Core in a Saturn Vue. Replacing your Saturn Vue's heater core may best be left in the hands of an expert. The core is located behind the right side dashboard, and you must disable several components on the dash instrument panel in order to access the core.

Removing the Old Core

Disable the Vue's air bag system and disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain and recover the engine coolant and air conditioner refrigerant.

Disconnect the suction line and thermistor connection from the Thermal Expansion Valve. And the outlet and inlet hoses from the heater core. Remove the right and left end panels to the instrument panel and the door jamb switch electrical connections.

Place the gear shift in "Neutral," then remove its horse shoe bezel to access and disengage the electrical connections.

Disconnect or remove everything connected to the instrument panel, especially on the passenger side. This includes the glove box, radio, passenger air bag, all ducts, switches, bracket and retainer connections, the Brake Control Module and Data Link Controller. Remove the panel retainer last.

Remove the heater duct, heater core cover, core pipe cover and pipe foam seal. Remove the heater core by grabbing it at the end tanks.

Installing the New Core

Install the replacement heater core and reconnect the pipe seal, core cover and heater duct. Spray soapy water on the dash seal and core pipe openings to help installation.

Replace and reinstall all connections and components of the instrument panel. Make sure you center the temperature knob and align the air temperature cable lug with the detent spring point. Use a new seal washer when connecting the suction line to the Thermal Expansion Valve.

Refill the cooling and air conditioning systems. Recharge the refrigerant with an R-134a tool. Reconnect the negative battery cable and enable the air bag system.


Spray soapy water on the perimeter of the core seal and pipe at the front of the dash if the heater core sticks while removing it.

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